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Civil War Facts Essay, Research Paper

1) Compromise of 1850 : It s a series of compromises passed by United States congress in order to settle slavery issues. It was used to balance pro and anti slave states. (36 -30)


3) John Calhoun: (1782-1850) Political leader who was United States congressman, Secretary of war, Vice President (1825-1832) senator and secretary of state. He supported states rights and slavery. He was a symbol of the old south. He also fought for the protection of the south which contributed to the Civil War

3) Henry Clay: (1777-1852) Statesman. Leader of the wing party. Clay played a central role on the stage of national politics for over forty years. He was a nationalist, devoted to the economic development and political integration of the United States.

4) Daniel Webster: Practice as a lawyer before the United States supreme court and serve as a United States congressman (1813-1817, 1823-1827). United States senator (1827-1841,1845-1850) and United States secretary of State (1841-1843, 1850-1852). He urged both the North and the South to avoid extreme positions on slavery.

5) Fugitive Slave Law: It created special commissioners to deal with the fugitive slave cases. Commissioners had to convict slaves of being a fugitive before granting owners authority to seize the runaway. This contributed to the Civil War in the way that it put slave owners at great personal expense and failure to provide for assistance from federal officers.

6) Dred Scott Decision: Denied both to right of a slave to sue for freedom and the right of a territory to exclude slavery within it s boundaries. This contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War in the way that it inflamed antislavery factions by denying a slave of any rights.

7) Roger Taney: Fifth Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Remembered for his decision dealing with the Dred Scott case. He argued the Scott was a slave and because of that he was not a citizen there for he could not sue in any federal court. This decision created more disagreement then any other in United States history.

8) Harriet Beecher Stowe: United States writer and philanthropist, well known as the writer of controversial novel Uncle Tom s cabin. This lead to a lot of mixed feeling against slavery and is often considered as the cause of the Civil War.

9) Kansas-Nebraska Act: This act was passed in 1854 to organize western territories which became part of the political whirlwind of sectionalism and railroad building. It violated the Missouri compromise by allowing new states popular Sovereignty.

10) Stephen Douglas: (1813-1861) He was the member of congress and presidential candidate in 1860. He fought for popular sovereignty in congress and in Illinois. He pledged his support to the northern cause and urged a vigorous prosecution of the war against the rebels.

11) Abraham Lincoln: (1809-1865) He was the sixteenth President of the United States. He spoke eloquently against the expansion of slavery in the west. The proclamation applied only to areas under confederate control, and its legal impact was uncertain but it redefined the nature of the war and was of great Symbolic significance.

12) John Brown: (1800-1859) Militant, American Abolitionist whose raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, VA in 1859 made him a Martyr to antislavery cause and was instrumental in heightening sectional animosities that led to the American Civil War (1861-65)

!3) Abolition: Abolitionists believed slavery was both national and an individual sin. The situation in the United States was more complex because slavery was a domestic rather than a colonial phenomenon because of the social and economic status of the eleven southern states.

14) Secession: This was a major event leading to the outbreak of the Civil War. During the years 1860-61. Withdrawal of eleven slave states from the union after Abraham Lincoln was elected President. North vs. South conflicts about antislavery laws developed. Republicans believed that territories should remain free, slave holders were not allowed to own slaves in these states. However the south strongly disagreed. After secession, Lincoln sent troops into Ft. Sumter, Charleston, S.C. April 12, 1861. Confederates opened fire and the Civil War started.

15) Fort Sumter: The site of the first engagement of the American Civil War on April 12, 1861. Confederate authorities demanded Fort Sumter s immediate evacuation. When this was refused, the south opened fire. The Fort surrendered two days later. This united the North and Lincoln as they responded to the attack.

“I am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away; but with Blood. I had as I now think vainly flattered myself that without much bloodshed it might be done.” December 2, 1859.

John Brown


Encyclopedia Britannica 15th edition

First Hand America

Reader s Companion to America s History

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